- The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) has responded to the South African government
- The government has made an appeal to the High Court regarding the possible ban of cigarettes
- The association says the banning tobacco product once again will harm the industry greatly
The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) has released a press statement responding to the South African government's appeal. The government is appealing a High Court ruling which found a cigarette ban unnecessary.
The association is concerned about the possibility of the government banning tobacco products once again. South Africa went into a level 3 lockdown after President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation 28 December 2020 and a number of citizens are concerned.
The number of Covid-19 infections is increasing every single day and South Africans are worried that the country might be put into an even harder lockdown.
Alcohol has been banned and FITA is worried that cigarettes might be next.
"We feel that this step by the government is regrettable given the impermeable harm on the tobacco industry along its value chain which is occasioned by the 5 month-long ban on the sale of cigarettes for consumption by the local market," said FITA in the statement.
“We are of the view that the many legal challenges government has had to defend during the lockdown period, due to its implementation of many irrational regulations, have meant that government has expended a substantial amount of funds."
In other mainstream news, Briefly.co.za reported that Ramaphosa called an emergency National Covid-19 Command Council meeting. The government's National Coronavirus Command Council is set to meet on Wednesday morning after President Cyril Ramaphosa convened an early gathering.
This meeting was set to happen only next week but the government has seemingly felt the need to fast-track discussions on the lockdown. President Cyril Ramaphosa is then expected to address the nation by the end of the week on new lockdown measures agreed upon by the council.
The Covid-19 death toll in South Africa has officially surpassed the 30 000 mark on Monday with 12 601 new infections reported by the Department of Health.
Athi Geleba, Head of Digital Communications in the Presidency, has confirmed that the meeting will be taking place.
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